Tegatana concentrating on small steps and medial balls of feet. Hanasu as a warmup into Chain #2, including kote taoshi, mae otoshi, hiki taoshi, and oshi taoshi. Nijusan concentrating on shomenate, aigamaeate, and gyakugamaeate. After class, Patrick M. and Kristof demonstrated Nijusan 1-10 for our new guy. Patrick has made some particular improvements in the atemiwaza (1-5) of Nijusan. #4 and #7 still need some work. Kristof did well with his demonstration, but still needs to clean up #10 (wakigatame) and the pins on #6, 7, and 8.
I’d like to introduce our new guy, Kel. He comes to us from an aikido class in the vicinity of Purdue University where he studied under Dr. Thomas Burdine. I like to ask new guys that have done aiki stuff before if the stuff we do looks the same or different – Kel responded, “Yes.” Dr. Burdine shares some aiki lineage with us, having trained under Tomiki as well as Tohei, and Burdine sensei must still using some of the Tomiki structure because Kel told me that he recognized pretty much all of the nijusan that Patrick and Kristof demonstrated and that he’s seen it in similar format.
As for my current posture quest, after each repetition I made a point to rock my head back and look upward a couple of times to get the feel of what a little more neck extension might feel like. Working this I made an interesting observation. Tori doesn’t have much trouble working with good neck extension but uke pretty much has to break this neck posture in order to do an event as athletic as an attack. I think this practice might have helped me some without really trying to remain rigidly upright. Head/neck posture has some interesting interactions with the concept of eye contact (metsuke) too.